An Alabama woman says she was asked to leave the Southern Kitchen and Bar over the shirt she was wearing. Aireal Bonner said she was not aware of the restaurant’s policy.  She said the policy is not posted. Bonner says no policy was available to review when requested.

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Bonner told WVTM 13 that she was approached by the manager, and “she told me that the owner, which I actually found out was not the owner, had seen me on camera from his home and called in to ask her to approach me about my attire.”

WVTM 13 stated according to an attorney, a private business does have the right to refuse service to anyone as long as it does not discriminate.

Southern Kitchen and Bar Birmingham released the following statement to WVTM 13 TV...

“The management of Southern  Kitchen and Bar has reviewed the alleged racial discrimination made by Ms. Aireal Bonner for Friday, August 6. The event in question centered around a manager observing her in what appeared to be a bikini top, which is not consistent with our appropriate attire policy. As a family-friendly neighborhood restaurant, we have an appropriate attire policy in place to provide an experience that meets both our standards as a brand and our client expectations. Our staff strives to resolve the issues as politely as possible. A manager did politely approach her with an offer of a free Southern Kitchen and Bar t-shirt to use as a cover-up. Mrs. Bonner was not approached until she had commenced eating her meal. We regret interrupting Ms. Bonner’s dinner, and understand that would make anyone feel uncomfortable. We apologized for this and clearly, the matter should have been discreetly handled upon the patrons entering our restaurant. We should also note the attempt to follow company policy was ill-timed, but not ill-intentioned. We are establishing more rigid protocols to ensure all policies within our restaurants are upheld and are enforced by staff. We will make every effort to politely address them at the front door. We have done and will continue to do the work to ensure our restaurant is a place where all feel welcome.”

Bonner has planned a public protest.

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